No. 12 WAP 2009, March 25, 2010

This decision interprets the Pennsylvania Donated or Dedicated Property Act [Act of Dec. 15, 1959, P.L. 1772 (as amended 53 P.S. §§ 3381-3386), “DDPA”]. “DDPA permits political entities to sell at least certain donated or dedicated property upon orphans’ court approval, subject to conditions, where the original [...]

Township Of Bethlehem v New Jersey Agriculture Development Committee

Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division, Docket No. A-1253-08T2, March 15, 2010

In an unpublished opinion the court held the New Jersey Agriculture Development Committee’s (SADC) denial of the Township’s application for reimbursement of a portion of the price paid to buy a certain farm property with the intention to preserve most of it as farmland [...]

Troha v United States

United States District Court, W.D. Pennsylvania, C.A. No. 05-191 Erie, February 25, 2010.

The District Court granted summary judgment for the US against plaintiffs who own land that abuts or is traversed by a recreational trail in Elk and Cameron Counties, PA, who claim that by virtue of the operation of the National Trails System Act, 16 [...]

Friedman v Commissioner of Internal Revenue

United States Tax Court, T.C. Memo. 2010-45, March 11, 2010

Although the petitioner-taxpayer lost in this case, the Tax Court agreed to apply the “substantial compliance doctrine” to the question of whether the petitioner complied with the requirements of sec. 1.170A-13, Income Tax Regs. regarding a non-cash charitable contribution. The court wrote, “Under the substantial compliance doctrine, [...]

IRS Notice: No Change in 170(h) Qualified Conservation Contribution Deduction Record-Keeping Requirements

FR Doc 2010-4473, Federal Register: March 4, 2010 (Volume 75, Number 42)

The IRS issued a routine notice and request for comments: “Internal Revenue Code section 170(h) describes situations in which a taxpayer is entitled to a deduction for a charitable contribution for conservation purposes of a partial interest in real property. This regulation requires a taxpayer [...]

Impact Energy Resources, LLC, v. Ken Salazar, et al.

United States District Court, D. Utah. Case No. 2:09-cv-435, No. 2:09-cv-440
February 17, 2010.

The US District Court for Utah held the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and other environmental and historic preservation advocacy groups (collectively, “SUWA”) are entitled to intervention as-of-right in litigation by various energy companies challenging the US Secretary of the Interior’s withdrawal of 77 leases [...]

Historic Albany Foundation, Inc. et al. v Planning Board of the City of Albany and The Fort Orange Club

Supreme Court, Albany County, 2010 NY Slip Op 50200(U) 434-10
February 10, 2010.

The court rejected on ripeness grounds the petition of Historic Albany Foundation to appeal a permit for demolition of two 19th century historic structures. The Foundation alleged, inter alia, a failure to prepare a full environmental impact statement in accordance with SEQRA [the NY [...]

Chicago Area Council Boy Scouts of America v Blue Lake Township, et al

Court of Appeals of Michigan, No. 285691
March 18, 2010

The Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a trial court decision that a down-zoning of 9,000 acres “to preserve the unique camp-like characteristics of the Township,” including the Boy Scouts’ 4,748 acres property, did not constitute a taking. The court upheld the trial court’s ruling on summary disposition on [...]

Senate Passes One-Year Extension of the Enhanced Easement Incentive

Per the Land Trust Alliance report on March 10, 2010, “the Senate voted 62 to 36 to pass H.R. 4213, a package of tax ‘extenders’ and other provisions that includes a one-year extension of the enhanced tax deduction for conservation easements.” The NRDC reports, however, that the bill, “contains two harmful environmental provisions. One extends liquid [...]

NM governor signs bill for conservation easements

New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson signed The Natural Heritage Conservation Act, SB 186. The Associated Press reported March 9, 2010, “[the] new law will allow the state to acquire conservation easements from farmers, ranchers and other landowners to ensure that the property is not developed.” The Act also establishes a fund that can attract federal [...]

Historic Paulus Hook Association v. The Zoning Board Of Adjustment For The City Of Jersey City and Abdel H. Amin And Badria M. Elatar

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division No. A-4001-08T2. Decided February 16, 2010 (unpublished)

This New Jersey appeal raised the question of whether a permit for a revised scope of construction issued by a municipal Zoning Officer for a property subject to the oversight of Jersey City’s Historic Preservation Commission pursuant to Jersey City Code §§ 345-9 [...]

Maryland County Policy Allows Wetland Mitigation on Agricultural Preservation Easements

Howard County, Maryland, Agricultural Land Preservation Board approved a policy February 16, 2010, to allow, under certain conditions, properties encumbered by an agricultural land preservation easement to establish wetland mitigation for nontidal wetlands that were, or will be, lost due to regulated urban or agricultural activities. “To avoid incursions onto productive land, wetland restoration and/or [...]

In re Estate of Raymond Doran (James Doran, Appellant)

Supreme Court of Vermont, No. 07-483, filed February 26, 2010

Not strictly a conservation easement decision, this opinion is worth reading as a cautionary soap opera tale of the attempted flouting of an intestate decedent’s evident wish to preserve family lands. While the decision upholds a trial court’s ruling that prevented one course of development of the [...]